Veterans

November 2, 2012

Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program delivers 20 millionth American dream

Tags:
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
homes
On October 26, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs celebrated its 20 millionth home loan in Woodbridge, Virginia at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Carpenter, widow of CPT Matthew Carpenter, who passed away in 2010. VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Program started in 1944 when President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights. Now, 68 years later, VA remains as the largest no down payment program in the nation. Learn more about VA home loans here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/ VA photos by Robert Turtil.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — As three-year-old Joey Carpenter peddled his tricycle over crackling autumn leaves on the driveway, his mother smiled through stifled tears, for she knew her son would now have a stable home in which to grow up.

Neighbors watched as the Department of Veterans Affairs saluted Elizabeth Carpenter, the 20 millionth recipient of its Home Loan Guarantee Program, in a ceremony just outside the door of her new address.

Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey, presented a plaque to Joey and Elizabeth, his mother, the widow of Army CPT Matthew Carpenter, a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran who succumbed to cancer in December 2010.

No matter the circumstances that cause military families to want a new home, the VA Home Loan Program, Hickey said, is a good idea.

“Vets are a good bet; service members are a good bet,” she said. “Because they have those core values of responsibility and dependability and [do] what they commit to do, [whether] they sign up to own a home, or go to war.”

Carpenter said that she knew she wanted to be in Virginia with her family once her husband passed away.

“I wanted my son to have the stability of a home with me and him — this is our new little family,” Carpenter said. “I wanted a home where he could have the memories at three when he’s 16 years old and this is a stable good place for him to come back to, however old he is.”

She added that her familiarity with the VA Home Loan Program stemmed from her father, an Army soldier and later by way of her own VA benefit purchase with her late husband on their home in Connecticut.

Throughout the process, Carpenter learned of the many benefits VA extends to surviving spouses.

According to Mike Frueh, Veterans Benefits Administration director of loan guaranty services, since Capt. Miles Myers took out the first VA home loan on Nov. 1, 1944 in Washington D.C., VA has worked successfully with industry partners, realtors, lenders and servicers to fulfill the nation’s promise to veterans and their families.

This year alone, the VA has guaranteed more than 2,400 loans every day of the year, Frueh added.

Hickey noted the VA home loan program’s long history and its positive service for the nation’s veterans.

“For the last three consecutive years, we have kept 73,000 service members, veterans and family members covered when they experienced hard times,” she said. “Our partners in the mortgage industry have worked with us to restructure those loans, as necessary to ensure they stay under a roof with their families.”

The VA, she continued, does not directly fund loans, but remains the largest, no-down payment program in the nation, with 89 percent of loans fitting the no-down payment description: It is the result of partnerships with more than 1,500 banks and loan originators.

“The program is a critical component of this nation’s mortgage industry,” Hickey said. “For the last 18 quarters, VA is the lowest seriously delinquent mortgage program in the nation.”

Carpenter said she hopes her story will reassure other people in similar circumstances who think their dream of home ownership may be out of reach.

“There are so many benefits through the VA for active duty families,” she added, “but there are also so many benefits for surviving family members and surviving spouses that I didn’t even know existed until my husband got sick.”

Young Joey Carpenter, also approved of the new home and took to it with as much zeal as his mom.

“I knew, pulling up into the cul de sac and walking in the door here, this felt like a home that Joey and I could start pushing forward with the rest of lives in,” she said.

Carpenter also said the VA has helped make her transition as smooth as possible, even after the “shock” of learning she was the 20 millionth VA loan recipient.

“Without the VA, this wouldn’t be possible,” Carpenter said. “We’re very lucky to be here in this home and excited to take this step and push forward to honor Matt the way he would want us to.”

As for the preceding 19,999,999 VA home loan recipients, Carpenter also shared her thoughts.

“They’ve paved the way for all of us now, even my parents, so that people in my situation or other young military families can get into a home loan and have some stability [when] you never know where you’re going or how long you’re going to be there,” Carpenter said. “It provides us the American dream to own a house.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
breast-cancer-awareness

A story of survival and resilience

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — On April 16, 2007, I got a call no expecting mother would dream of receiving. “We got the results from your biopsy and it came back malignant.” Did the doctor just say I had cancer? I fi...
 
 

UltimateMe to help military families get healthier

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) is working with the Sharecare team to support the launch of UltimateMe, a secure, personalized online wellness platform to help members of the military community assess, manage and improve their health and performance. The new platform expands the access to wellness programs and resources for service members and...
 
 
U. S. Air Force artwork

Hundreds in 452nd held as POWs in WWII

U. S. Air Force artwork Depiction of a crippled B-17 settled on the ground. (Tenth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) More than 750 men from the 452nd Bombardment Group were shot down in B-17 Flying ...
 

 
Nuke-Medal-graphic

Air Force releases criteria for new service medal

U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James’ May 2...
 
 
DoD

Obama activates reserves for Operation United Assistance

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — President Barack Obama has authorized the Defense Department to call up a small number of National Guard or reserve troops that possess special skills needed to aid efforts in stopping the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. Obama issued an executive order yesterday authorizing the secretaries of Defense and...
 
 
Halloween-Safety

Halloween safety tips for 2014

Here are a few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission can protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating this Halloween. Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin